Protestants and Pensions

36 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2023

See all articles by Moshe A. Milevsky

Moshe A. Milevsky

York University - Schulich School of Business

Marcos Velazquez

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Date Written: September 20, 2023


We document a statistically significant relationship between a region’s pension plan rankings or funding ratios and the fraction of the region’s population identifying as Protestant Christians (PC). We begin the analysis at the national level using a well-known pension quality index and then obtain similar results for the actuarial funded status of US state pension plans, which serves as an out-of-sample test. This work is related to the very old and (in)famous hypothesis by Max Weber on the “Protestant work ethic” but, more broadly, is consistent and within the sphere of recent scholarship and literature that indicates religion matters for financial economic outcomes.

Keywords: pensions, annuities, Protestants, religion, history

JEL Classification: B16, D15, G22, G52, N33, Z12, J32

Suggested Citation

Milevsky, Moshe Arye and Velazquez, Marcos, Protestants and Pensions (September 20, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Moshe Arye Milevsky (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

Marcos Velazquez

University of Texas of the Permian Basin ( email )

4901 East University
Odessa, TX 79762
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics